Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Tone In Tallahassee

Florida Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford are wisely steered away from inflammatory rhetoric against their Democratic colleagues. After the defeats suffered by Republicans around the country it is smart politics for Gaetz and Weatherford not to sound like Allen West or Joe Walsh. Both men are stressing bipartisanship. However Weatherford himself pointed out that he will still push for conservative legislation.

There is a glimmer of hope from Gaetz and Weatherford.

Along with Gaetz, Weatherford wants to eliminate fundraising committees used by lawmakers. Weatherford said they aren’t transparent.

It’s unclear how exactly Weatherford could enhance transparency, but his shift has nevertheless impressed League of Women Voters of Florida president Deirdre Macnab.

The fundraising committees have been used to help get certain members enough influence to gain leadership positions in the Florida legislature. Gaetz and Weatherford will be term-limited out and don't have to worry about gaining leadership posts. They are free to eliminate the fundraising committees. Lobbyists are granted access and no transparency. Not that it matters, both Florida political parties host galas for lobbyist to come and hand checks to them.

There is no guarantee that Gaetz and Weatherford will follow through. That will be up to activists. This Franklin D. Roosevelt quote to Sidney Hillman sums up what activists must do.

ROOSEVELT: "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."

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